Thousands rally against attacks on shrines

Thousands of followers of Sufi Islam staged a rally in Lahore on Sunday to condemn militancy.

Afp February 06, 2011

LAHORE: Thousands of followers of Sufi Islam staged a rally in Lahore on Sunday to condemn militancy and attacks on shrines, police said.

"More than 10,000 people participated in the rally," senior police officer Mustansar Bajwa told AFP.

Chanting slogans against terrorism, the demonstrators called for peace in the country.

Attacks blamed on homegrown Taliban and other Islamist extremists have killed more than 4,000 people since government troops stormed a radical mosque in Islamabad three years ago.

The demonstrators marched from the Punjab provincial assembly building to the city's main Data Darbar shrine, amid a heavy police presence, witnesses said.

The rally was called by the Pakistan Awami Tehreek party, representing Sufi Islam.

"Islam is religion of peace and acts of terrorism and bloodshed are against its teachings," the party's local chief Raheek Abbasi told the rally.

He urged the government to "improve resources and provide jobs and justice to the people to end the menace."

The protest came three days after a bomb blast near a Sunni Muslim shrine in Lahore killed two people and wounded more than a dozen worshippers.

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up among crowds of worshippers at the Data Darbar shrine in July, killing 42 people.

In October two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi in Pakistan's biggest city of Karachi, killing nine worshippers, including two children.

Sufi worshippers, who follow a mystical strain of Islam, have frequently been the target of bloody attacks by Islamist militants in Pakistan.

Militant Islamists see visits to Sufi shrines and some rituals at the graves of Muslim saints as un-Islamic.


Basharit | 10 years ago | Reply @Richard: do you think it is odd news like this is never shown on sky or bbc etc
some sense | 10 years ago | Reply @Waqar I will only ask you two simple questions Did Prophet (saw) went to any shrines in his lifetime, or did he even encourage the construction of shrines? NO As Muslims are we supposed to follow the actions of Prophet (saw)? YES So based on this it is simple that anything which was practiced by prophet (saw) like salaat, zakaat, Hajj, kindness to neighbours/relatives is all part of islam. and anything which was not practiced by prophet (saw) is not a part of Islam and an innovation in religion (called Bidah in Arabic) and there is a hadith of prophet (saw) that all bidah in religion is Bad. There is no such thing as good bidah. If only pakistanis practice Islam correctly as practiced in the time of prophet (saw)... There is a verse in Surat Maida (Chapter 5 of holy Quran) in which Allah says "Today I have perfected your religion for you and made Islam the way of life". This verse was revealed after the last sermon of Prophet (saw). So it proves that Islam was complete at Prophet (saw)'s time. There is no room for any addition. If one deviates from the sunnat of Prophet (saw), one goes away from Islam. Shrines have no history in Islam. They were a concept borrowed from the Hindus and Sikhs, after muslims lived with them for centuries. The sikhs particularly worship their dead saints like Guru Nanak at his shrine. Moreover in the history of Punjab, Sikh Raja Ranjit Singh who ruled over punjab, crushed pure islam and the building of masjids and he promoted shrines and adultrated Islam with the concept of shrines for human beings and thus was created 'sufism' which muslims of punjab and sindh (and other parts across indopak region) practice till today. However killing people for going to shrines is completely forbidden and unislamic. Pakistanis need correct Islamic education and religious islah (correction) and need to the believers of 'Tauheed'- worshipping only and only Allah. This message of Tauheed was brought by all of Allah's messengers (peace be upon them)
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